Reimagined civilizationsUsing fiction to talk about history
Using fiction to talk about history
How would history have played out if the Incas had conquered Europe? If Atahualpa had defeated Pizarro? Literature has the power to transport us to distant latitudes, places we can scarcely envision, and it can also modify facts and change the course of history. Each reader appreciates events according to his or her own personal vision of the world: that is the freedom that inspires Laurent Binet in his recent novel Civilizations. With this book we learn how the planet earth began its unification, a difficult, violent process that involved exchanges and interactions that altered its very face. The novel then takes us on a voyage from the extreme south of the new and old continents to uncharted territories of geography and human nature. In this conversation, Binet will look back on a world filled with contradictions that changed radically (and often painfully) through the exchange of cultures that brought civilizations together. This dialogue will offer insight into how one novelist works with historical reality to transform it with imagination and responsibility. Though every book is a journey, this one is perhaps more of a journey than most.
Activity in French with subtitles in Spanish